New system allows businesses to file personal property taxes online

Published 11:07 am Friday, November 6, 2009

Shelby County businesses now have an easier way to file personal property taxes.

Property Tax Commissioner Don Armstrong said this year, for the first time, the process can be completed online.

“It’s more efficient for them, and it’s more efficient for us,” he said. “We’re the only county in the state that does it this way.”

In the last week of September, businesses received a mailing alerting them that personal property taxes could be filed online. The letter also had a PIN number and instructions for accessing the filing system.

The filing system became available Oct. 1, and businesses have from Oct.1-Dec. 31 to file.

Armstrong said the online process is far more cost-effective than sending out all the forms and information on paper. He said it normally costs $15,000 in postage alone to send out the paper forms to 14,000 businesses. In contrast, this year, postage costs total $3,150.

The Internet-based system will also cut down on overtime, Armstrong said.

“We normally have to work overtime. This should eliminate overtime or almost eliminate it,” he said. “It got to the point (before) where everybody had to pitch in, and it took a full week to just get ready.”

Cindy Crabb, who works with Armstrong, said the property tax commissioner’s office has already received 472 filings – unheard of this early in the tax season.

“That’s really good, considering we usually don’t get them back in until the last week of December,” she said.

Crabb said she’s gotten an excellent response from business owners.

“We’ve had a great response. People love it,” she said. “It’s been really good for us so far. The majority of people now are computer-literate, and if you have a business, you have a computer.”

The online system has a list of assets reported last year for each business. Business owners can delete assets they no longer use from the list, as well as report new assets added since the last filing.

The filing system is available at If a business owner wishes to file taxes using paper forms, it is possible to do so by calling the property tax commissioner’s office at 670-6900.

Taxes can now be paid with credit cards online. Credit card payment will soon be available at the office. For more information, visit the Web site or call the property tax commissioner’s office at 670-6900.